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News Article: Trinidad Express Newspaper
By Carolyn Kissoon

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Tourism Ministry launches 'Sugar Heritage Village'


UNVEILING: Prime Minister KamlaPersad-Bissessar (second from right) and Minister in the Ministry of LabourRudranathIndarsingh, second from left, unveil the plan for the proposed Sugar Heritage Village and Museum at Brechin Castle, Rivulet Road, Couva on Wednesday. Looking on are Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Arts and Culture Nela Khan and Tourism Minister Dr Rupert Griffith. —Photo: DEXTER PHILIP



The economic importance of tourism is far greater than many people think—with 88,000 people, accounting for some 14.9 per cent of this country's employment working in the industry, said Tourism Minister Dr Rupert Griffith on Wednesday.

Speaking at the launch of the Sugar Heritage Village and Museum project at Brechin Castle, Couva Wednesday, Griffith said a Heritage Tourism Advisory Committee would soon be launched to develop and preserve this country's indigenous culture.

He said the committee would comprise government agencies, stakeholders groups, and NGOs involved in heritage preservation and development.

"This committee will act as an advisory body in the development and marketing of our heritage tourism product," he said.

"Simply said, we recognise that there is a lot at stake if tourism is not given the attention it deserves. Competition for tourism market share is fierce. We are not only competing with Barbados, Jamaica and the Bahamas, but really with the world," he said.

Griffith said the Sugar Heritage Village and Museum would become a new tourist attraction —an experience which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. He said it was also a fitting tribute and celebration of sugar workers' contribution in developing this country.

"The tourism potential of the Sugar Heritage Village and Museum is phenomenal as it ensures that out sugar story is told to more people for many years to come," he said.